Steve Pestka

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Steve Pestka
Steve Pestka.jpg
Candidate for
U.S. House, Michigan, District 3
Prior offices
Michigan State Senate
Bachelor'sUniversity of Michigan
J.D.Detroit College of Law
Date of birth10/05/1951
Place of birthGrand Rapids, MI
Campaign website
Steve Pestka campaign logo
The information about this individual is current as of when his or her last campaign ended. See anything that needs updating? Send a correction to our editors
Steve Pestka was a 2012 Democratic candidate who sought election to the U.S. House to represent the 3rd Congressional District of Michigan.


Upon graduating from East Grand Rapids High School, Pestka attended Grand Rapids Community College and later graduated from the University of Michigan in 1974. He became Assistant Prosecuting Attorney for Kent County after receiving his law degree from the Detroit College of Law in 1978. He became a member of the Kent County Board of Commissioners in 1992 and served three terms. In 1998, Pestka was elected to the Michigan House of Representatives, where he served two terms. In 2003, then-Governor Jennifer Granholm appointed Pestka as judge for the 17th Circuit Court in Kent County. In 2009, Pestka left the court to help his father run his family business.[1]


Pestka's career highlights are listed below.[2]

  • Attorney, Private Practice (1980-present)
  • Assistant Prosecuting Attorney, Kent County (1978-1980)
  • Judge, 17th Circuit Court (2003-2009)
  • Michigan State Senator (1992-2002)
  • Commissioner, Kent County's 11th District (1992-1998)



See also: Michigan's 3rd Congressional District elections, 2012

Pestka was defeated by incumbent Justin Amash.[3] Pestka ran in the 2012 election for the U.S. House to represent Michigan's 3rd District. He defeated Trevor Thomas in the August 7 Democratic primary. He faced Republican incumbent Justin Amash and Bill Gelineau (L) in the general election on November 6, 2012.[4]

General election

U.S. House, Michigan District 3 General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Steve Pestka 44.2% 144,108
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngJustin Amash Incumbent 52.6% 171,675
     Libertarian Bill Gelineau 3.2% 10,498
     Write-in Steven Butler 0% 2
Total Votes 326,283
Source: Michigan Secretary of State "Official Election Results, 2012 General Election"

Primary results

Michigan's 3rd Congressional District Democratic Primary, 2012
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngSteve Petska 58.9% 13,408
Trevor Thomas 41.1% 9,373
Total Votes 22,781


The following is a campaign ad released by Pestka on September 20, 2012.[5]

Steve Pestka, "Supporting"[6]


Steve Pestka vs. Justin Amash
Poll Steve Pestka Justin AmashMargin of ErrorSample Size
(August 18-21, 2012)
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

Campaign issues

On his campaign website, Pestka lists thirteen issues. They are:[7]

  • Economy

Excerpt: "Advancement of the middle class and the American way of life is one of my most important goals. Our middle class should be supported and strengthened – a strong America depends on a strong middle class."

  • Manufacturing

Excerpt: "We need to continue building a diverse economy with good-paying jobs. Michigan’s historic manufacturing base – building both cars and furniture – did a lot more than just teach the world about those products; it taught the world how to develop a dynamic economy. No country can leave behind its manufacturing base, and we need to implement policies which support Michigan's great manufacturers, and which will lead to higher wages, better jobs, and a more educated and stronger workforce."

  • Taxation and the deficit

Excerpt: "The deficit and taxation are tied together. While the current debt level is unsustainable, there has to be a comprehensive effort to draft an equitable tax system so that all taxpayers are treated fairly."

  • Infrastructure

Excerpt: "I believe there needs to be a major investment in infrastructure. Investment in our roads and bridges helps to strengthen our homes, our neighborhoods, our state, and our country. Infrastructure projects will also help create more good jobs and get Michigan residents back to work."

  • Environment

Excerpt: "Our state – and our entire country - belongs to all of us and it needs to be protected. As a state legislator, I consistently had a 100 percent voter rating from the League of Conservation Voters and I will continue to fight to protect the environment in Congress."

  • Energy

Excerpt: "We need a sensible approach to our energy future. We should encourage and pursue alternative energy, but we also must understand that those sources won’t immediately fulfill our energy needs overnight."

  • Health care

Excerpt: "I believe all human beings have a right to health care. A healthier society is less expensive to maintain than an unhealthy one. We need to pursue common sense health care policies that expand accessibility, demand quality, and reign in costs."

  • Social safety net

Excerpt: "Medicare and Social Security were tremendous steps toward senior Americans being able to enjoy their golden years with a level of dignity and comfort. We need to strengthen and continue these programs, not dismantle them."

  • K-12 Education

Excerpt: "I am a strong proponent of public schools. They are the foundation of our great nation. We have a responsibility to our children and educators to make sure that our public schools have the resources they need so that every student receives a quality education."

  • Higher education and student debt

Excerpt: "College attainment is becoming today what a high school diploma was a generation ago. If our country is to compete for good-paying jobs and industries in a global economy, we cannot continue on our current path of saddling our young people with tens of thousands in debt before they even enter the job market."

  • Agriculture

Excerpt: "Family farms have always been extremely important to West Michigan. We need to commit to policies that will better allow our farmers to safely bring their products to market and ensure families can maintain their farms from generation to generation."

  • Foreign Policy

Excerpt: "The United States is and will remain the dominant figure in the world. It has always been a model and beacon of hope for other nations. Our need for engagement and protection of our national interests must be a balanced approach that still respects other countries. We need to remain committed to our allies and continue working towards a safer and more peaceful world."

  • Working to solve our problems

Excerpt: "My entire professional experience in business and in public service has always placed an emphasis on bringing people together to solve complex problems. I have never promoted a narrow ideological viewpoint, and I never will."[7]

Campaign donors


Above is a breakdown of funds for the 2012 election, according to source.

Pestka lost the United States House of Representatives election in 2012. During that election cycle, Pestka's campaign committee raised a total of $2,078,543 and spent $2,076,680.[8]

Recent news

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Pestka is married to his wife, Alicia. They have one child together.[9]

External links